Growing up I wanted to be lot’s of different things; a cowboy, a lawyer, a rock star…  but never really gave much thought to being a school bus driver.  We’ve all seen the reports of ill-behaved children and all the problems they can cause for the bus driver, and quite honestly this notion never really appealed to me.  Until today.  If someone had said to me all those years ago, “become a bus driver and you will get to drive the coolest hot rod school bus in town”, I’d probably have dropped everything and pursued that with all the gumption I could muster.

Today’s post finds us back at our photoblog series “The Toads At The Sportsplex” where we visited the Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2013.  This years show was really terrific, featuring all sorts of vehicles representing a wide variety of interests and ages.  We found motorcycles, cars from all years and genres, trucks, show cars, daily drivers…  and one of the hands-down coolest school buses I’ve ever seen.

Classic Hot Rod School Bus - Duncan, BC, Canada

Classic Hot Rod School Bus – Duncan, BC, Canada –

Aptly named the “Cool Bus”, this classic GMC bus chassis has taken on a whole new life from where it started as a bright yellow canister designed to transport a gaggle of wee ones to and from their respective places of learning.  Transforming a vehicle like this from a utilitarian purposed bus to a personal vision of a hot rod school bus is no easy feat.  Close scrutiny of this particular bus really shows some of the features and concepts that make this baby stand out from a crowd, and perhaps even entice some children into looking at their bus in a whole different light.

The chrome on this vehicle is without peer.  All the chrome found in the bumpers and detailed trim are what makes a 50’s era vehicle what it is, and the owners of this bus really focused on that aspect of it.  The rich yellow paint gleamed in the hot summers day, reflecting the wonderful lines that make up the flowing body shape.  The addition of the flames really takes this one up a notch, these particular flames are just meticulously applied making for a great effect.  I’m also fairly certain this bus has been shortened, turning it instantly from a vehicle with purpose to one of the funnest buses ever.  The roof might have been chopped a few inches as well, although this I am not sure about.  We’d have to have feedback from the owner to know for sure.  Before we move on from this shot, you might also notice the delicate details painted on the side mirrors and all the great vents and louvers that this genre of vehicle is really famous for.

Classic Hot Rod School Bus - Duncan, BC, Canada

Classic Hot Rod School Bus – Duncan, BC, Canada –

We just loved the level of detail and attention that went into this design.  A dreamcatcher hangs in the back window and a lovely mural of a white wolf is painted on the inside of the back door.  Even the School Bus sign about the door has been subtly created to show-off the Cool Bus moniker that this unit now so proudly wears.

When we were kids, my best friend and I borrowed a bus that was converted to a camper for a weekend getaway.  The combination of creature comforts found in our RV coupled with the awesome character of the classic bus made for a great time that neither of us will ever forget.  This undoubtedly has left a soft-spot in my heart for these old, classic buses, and seeing one all hot rodded up and so obviously appreciated and loved by its owners is a real highlight.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think we should advocate for buses like this everywhere.  Let’s take Little Johnny as an example, let’s say he’s pulling on Sarah’s pig-tails in the back of the bus.  A quick application of throttle will find Johnny firmly planted back in his seat, and the wonderful howls emitting from the grumbly V8 under the ol’ hood there could further enhance the feeling of fear and respect for the bus itself.  It could really be used as a power of good to keep all the wee ones sitting safely and politely in their seats as the bus driver, who is having more fun than should be expected in a job like this, cruises around in the hot rod school bus.

If anyone sees a job listing for this, please let me know right away so I can get my resume on the pile at the very top.

Thank you so much for your kind visit here today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have.  Until next time!




  1. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Wow, what a cool bus Toad! Awesome processing on this beauty, and a great post as always my dear friend! 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You, my dear, are one of the very best friends a pair of Toads could have, thank you so much for your kind visit and comments here todya!

  2. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Man, that bus looks radioactive! Hope you wore a proper Hazmat suit when you took this ;).
    Great shots and colors my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You, sir, are correct! Naturally I forgot my Hazmat suit and was wondering why everyone was commenting that I wasn’t my usual shade of Toad green lately! LOL 🙂 GREAT comments, Len, you made me laugh right out loud there! Thanks so much for your kind visit my friend!

  3. Super cool S-Cool Bus Toadie! Great find and nice job on the capture.

  4. Definitely cool, but your suggestion might leave Sarah minus a pigtail, however the rumble of the engine, I’d love to hear it, should be impressing kids and adults alike. As an afterthought every schoolboy probably would be inspired to something or other by the engine’s sound and as always I like the look of your work here. Another afterthought: Let the government hire this guy.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      HA! 😀 Great comments, Joseph my friend, thank you so much for popping on by and leaving these for everyone to enjoy!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Oh Wow that is a cool bus. Great find Toad.

  6. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Sweet bus! Terrific shots my friend!

  7. Definitely the coolest school bus I’ve seen. Great shots.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Steven, we can’t begin to tell you how much we appreciate all your support good sir, many thanks!

  8. avatar LensScaper says:

    That is the coolest bust I have ever seen! Wow!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so much Andy, I have to say “me too!” Thank you so much for your kind visit here today, we really do appreciate it!

  9. Very cool bus. I see why you wanna drive it. Would make an excellent bus to take many photographers on a photo journey of your fine town. Keep the great images from Duncan coming. Love it!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      See, now, this is exactly the kind of “outta the box” thinking we need around these here parts, Spencer! I’m going to run this past Mrs. Toad tonight and see if I get any traction. Wish me luck! Thank you so much, kind sir, your ongoing support really means a lot to us!

  10. That is one cool ride that I’m sure most kid’s would jump for a chance to ride in, even if it was to take them to school.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      LOL Terrific comments here, Mark, thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave these for everyone to enjoy my friend!

  11. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    From school but to cool bus… love it!

    Man, what a beautiful custom bus. You’ve captured it wonderfully, Toad.
    I really love that awesome paint job. Well done, sir!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Jimi!! I just love it, too, would love to drive it everyday just for the coolness factor! 😀 Thanks so much for your kind visit my friend!

  12. You and me both!! Nice work Toads!! Good to see you getting in the swing of things with your 6D!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I am lovin’ that camera, I can tell you whut! 🙂 Thanks, Derrick, that really means a lot to me!

  13. avatar ehpem says:

    Hi Toad, what a “cool bus”. And guess what, it’s for sale! Or it was in an on-line posting ending Aug 31st. The posting is still up, but who knows for how long. Here is the info from the ad:
    “Rare, Hot Rod School Bus/Rv. Dubbed “Cool” Bus. Short wheel base 500hp/502 big blk chev. Power turbo 400 trans,410 rear & down to.Gear vendor over-drive.Front clip/air bag susp.Power sterring Power brakes3inch dropped spindels.Custom interior sleeps 2.To much to list. 200,000k invested. Built to be a driver. This high end build attracts a lot of attention. ”
    The listing has lots of cool shots from the interior too: http://bit.ly/1eSxPur. If you buy it, I want a ride. 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Dude, get out!!!! I would give my left flipper for that baby!! I am on the phone with the bank as we speak… who’s up to co-sign for yours truly?? 🙂

  14. avatar ehpem says:

    And a supplementary to the last comment – there is a lot of info about the history of the bus and its modifications at this site which also is about selling it, and thus probably not a link that will last long. http://bit.ly/193MHjp

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I’m gonna get on the phone right now… what a terrific story there, Ehpem, thanks for letting me know about that!